271,000 UK construction workers return to work

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construction workers,
© Utlanov

Data reveals that the percentage of UK construction workers on furlough decreased from 41% in March and April to 29% in May, according to accountancy group, UHY Hacker Young

Around 951,000 of the UK’s 2.3 million construction workers were furloughed in April, as lockdown forced workers to down tools.

With many construction sites now reopened, the number of the sector’s employees on furlough dropped to 679,600 in May.

UHY Hacker Young says that the resumption of work on major infrastructure projects such as the extension of the Northern Line and Crossrail, has contributed to the increase in construction workers leaving furlough.

Work has resumed on 57 major infrastructure projects with an estimated value of £8.5bn.

Supply chain shortages caused by the lockdown of the manufacturing industry have also eased in recent weeks, allowing more construction projects to restart.

Back to work

Michael Fitch, partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: “Seeing the UK’s vital construction sector get back to work is a really welcome bit of good news.

“Many smaller construction businesses could have operated within Government guidelines during lockdown but they weren’t able to get the materials that they needed. With these supply chain issues largely resolved, work on sites has been able to start up again.

“With coronavirus impacting every aspect of society, there will need to be major investment made into infrastructure such as broadband, to facilitate regular remote working, roads will be needed to be adapted to make them safer for cyclists. This will help construction businesses through the current crisis.”

Coronavirus cases

There has been over 291,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK and 41,279 deaths.

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